Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review & Mediations on The Temple of The Ape God By Terje Nordin & Mattias Närvä For Your Old School Campaigns

Temple of the Ape God is an adventure that I got sent last night & between work I'm finally getting around to getting my thoughts down on this location based adventure. Its an interesting little sword & sorcery style romp because Temple of the Ape God is a location based adventure suitable for 4 to 6 characters of levels 2 to 4. It is designed to be system agnostic and compatible with traditional roleplaying games & its interesting twist on the usual OSR style adventures. First of all let's talk about the cover, how can you go wrong with a four armed gorilla god attacking adventurers in the best Orientalist pulpy tradition.

Temple of the Ape God feeds of the legends and mythology of old school sword & sorcery pulpy adventure. The module has the feel of Rupert Kiplling & Edgar Rice Burroughs got together for a night of drunken brain storming on the mythology of a faux Indonesian setting.
"In the depth of jungle, a terrible and ancient foe has awakened. There are rumors of gold to be won there, but it will take more than luck and a sharp sword to survive after daring the savage forces of the wilderness. The lost temple of the Ape God awaits!"
"In ancient times a battle was fought between ape warriors and
devil serpents. The general of the ape warriors defeated the serpent
lord but perished from the poison of his enemy. In order to honor the general, he was exalted to divine status, and a temple was raised on the spot where he fell. An order of priests was instituted and tasked with passing on the legend of the heroics of the Ape God. They preserved the skull of the serpent lord and bound one of the devil serpents beneath the temple so that the ancient enemy would never be forgotten."
Temple of the Ape God has one part jungle romp & one part lost world ruin adventure location based job. Everything in this adventure pits all of the best parts with some vicious sword & sorcery lost world overtones.

There are several conceits about the Temple of the Ape God that should be taken into account, this is an adventure that has ascending & descending armor class, the module is based on the silver standard rather then the traditional D&D gold, & everything in the Temple of The Ape God is set up for a pure jungle romp of deadliness as well as old school fun.
There is a D20  rumor table with the appropriate old school Raiders of the Lost Ark style rumors such as;"Two months ago a group of adventurers disappeared into the jungle. Nobody has seen them since. (T)"  which leads into the weird random jungle encounters;"A decayed corpse dressed in a red robe. A satchel is poking out from beneath the corpse. A giant centipede, which has nested in the abdomen of the corpse, attacks if the body is touched. 1 giant centipede: MV 120’, AC 9 [10], HD 0 (1d4 hp), AT 1
bite (poison), M 7. The satchel contains 12 sp and an almost completely ruined spellbook. The spells Third Eye and Rope trick are still intact." All of this lends the Temple of the Ape God an almost 1940's Saturday matinee quality to it. This makes it perfect fodder for a weird Lamentations of the Flame Princess game based in the jungle or the Qelong setting by
Kenneth Hite. There are other possible uses for the Temple of the Ape God.
"Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars"
Robert Howard The Conan Saga
Another possible use is to drag and drop Temple of the Ape God into the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

Encounters and monsters are balanced, they're well thought out according to the adventure's constraints & ideas. Descriptions are clear and concise enabling DM's to get to the weird adventure with little prep work which is another plus in Temple of the Ape God. Because it clocks in at twenty one pages Temple of the Ape God is a study in compact design as well as writing. It does exactly what it says the adventure does on the tin.
Because Temple of the Ape God is a location based adventure DM's can drag and drop this adventure into their own campaigns making it have plenty of replay value and it works so easily to fit this into your own campaigns. All in all I think that Temple of The Ape God fits into the niche some place between lost world adventures & old school sword & sorcery. All in all this is great OSR adventure resource and well worth your time as well as your money. At three dollars Temple of The Ape is a great adventure to add to your OSR arsenal of adventures. Don't forget to keep the dice rolling & have plenty of replacement PC's ready! Easily able  to replace your maimed or killed victims who venture into the Temple of the Ape God'.

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